While I like to think that I've been doing nothing in this heatwave but sit at home in the A/C and watch multiple series on Netflix Watch Instantly--Party Down, you have my heart--it turns out I may have been a little more active than that.
I managed to get drunk in the afternoon two days in a row (I guess Nana was right). Today is my good friend Lola's birthday. As I told her earlier today, it's a momentous occasion because this is just the first time she's going to turn 29! We met up for a birthday lunch at Gazala Place in Midtown. Excellent Middle Eastern food that it's extremely reasonably priced. We ordered a whole smörgåsbord of mezze- you know, tabboule, hummus, baba ganoush, turkish salad, foul (which was my personal garlick-y, bean-y, onion-y, oily favorite). Followed by Turkish coffee and two desserts one was an excellent baklava, and the other was really outstanding dessert called something with multiple words. It was a piece of cake (semolina, I believe) soaked in syrup and then topped with a sweet cream that was almost pudding-like in texture and topped with finely chopped pistachios. Another advantage of Gazala is that it's BYOB--even in the middle of the afternoon. Since we had a birthday to celebrate, we managed to plow through three or four bottles of champagne.
One down-side: I opted for the fancier bottle of cava, even though there was a cheaper bottle that was chilled. Listen, your friends only turn 29 for the first time once. When I was carrying the bottle in the bag it got a little shaken up, and since we have been living in 100 degree heat for 5 years, it wasn't getting any colder in my bag. When I got to the restaurant, I asked our waiter for a glass and to chill the bottle. He opened it instead and then half of it went all over the floor. I said, "I told you to chill that". He said, "No, you told me to open it".
Despite finding the service somewhat lacking, it was really a fun day, and I love Lola's friends almost as much as I love her. In fact, I'm getting ready to head out to continue the celebrations at a midtown bar where there is often a big night of drinking for people working in front of and behind the scenes in theatre. Two years ago for MY birthday, Ms. Lola took me to one of these nights and it was the best night of my life, and a story for another time.